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Foodie heading to Ann Arbor

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I could really use your help in finding a foodie restaurant from the Detroit Airport to Ann Arbor. I don't mind driving to find a terrific restaurant that emphasizes fresh, innovative, farm-to-table sort of food. Any suggestions?

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  1. I should also add that I am having breakfast at Zingerman's Deli.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cookingfest

      When I lived in A2, Angelo's (near the hospital) always had a great breakfast.. Zingermans was great for lunch.

      There were great restaurants in A2, but don't be shy about looking nearby in Saline or Chelsea - the Common Grill in Chelsea, Gratzi in A2 were always good..

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      Common Grill
      112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

      1. re: grant.cook

        +1 on the Common Grill!

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        Common Grill
        112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

    2. Not much between the airport and Ann Arbor (the road passes mostly through industrial areas), but in Ann Arbor it sounds like you're looking for the Jolly Pumpkin (acclaimed brewpub with fresh, mostly veggie food, good burgers) on Main St. or the Grange Kitchen & Bar (high-end restaurant) on Liberty.

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      Grange Kitchen & Bar
      118 W Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jim M

        Wow! You read my mind. I'm so thrilled that you told me about Grange. Now I'm excited about my trip to Ann Arbor.

        1. re: Jim M

          Welcome to our fair city. There are 4 restaurants in A2 that serve local food. The two I'd recommend to a "foodie" are Jolly Pumpkin (local food AND local beer and spirits) and Zingerman's Roadhouse (chef is James Beard Award finalist, fantastic cocktails, and I love their BBQ). It's nothing like the deli, so if you have breakfast at the deli, a dinner or lunch experience at the restaurant would be a totally different thing. The two I'd skip are Grange (food hit or miss, service isn't good, has great cocktails however) and Arbor Brewing (lackluster food, but they have great beer)

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          Zingerman's Roadhouse
          2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

          1. re: momskitchen

            I was in Ann Arbor this weekend. I almost skipped Grange, and I'm so glad I didn't. I had a fresh pasta with arugula pesto and smoked trout. The combination of ingredients was incredible. The noodles were thick and tender and the smoked trout was a perfect finish to the arugula pesto. The dish also had a a healthy portion of fresh, seasonal vegetables including baby turnips that were actually tasty.

            Our waitress was awesome; she was as enthusiastic about the turnips as I was and also made some helpful suggestions. I might mention that this was Restaurant Week; the restaurant was slammed; and we arrived for a late dinner -- hardly circumstances in which you typically get good service.

            I also had a chance to go to Zimmerman's Roadhouse. The atmosphere there was much better, but overall the food was a disappointment to me. I will say that they have a really fun menu, with options to select cheeses for appetizers (which we we did and it was yum!) and oysters (which we did not). As is a typical experience for me with Zingerman's bread, the bread crust ripped the roof of my mouth, making it difficult to enjoy the remainder of my food. I had braised veal that was pretty flavorless; it made me sort of regret the death of the animal. It was finished with a side of spinach, which looked like the bagged variety, hardly the bright, flavorful greens found at Grange. But I'd go back. I'd love to try some of their macaroni and cheeses.

            1. re: abbyhintz

              Now, see, that just shows that one man's junk is another man's (or woman's) treasure. I *love* that Zingerman's bread. To me it was, by *far*, the best part of the corned beef on rye with coleslaw and Russian dressing that I had. And I mean, A+ grade on the bread. Coming from me, that honestly means it's the best Jewish rye bread I've ever eaten in my life. I've had lots, and this area is well-represented with good places for bread (especially Jewish rye), and Zingerman's is king. I'd take the mouth-roof-ripping goodness of that bread anytime, any day of the week.

              I haven't actually been to Zingerman's Roadhouse yet (I still can't quite get over the amusement that it's housed in a former Bill Knapp's...), but from what I hear, the mac-and-cheese is uproariously good (if you like that kind of thing, I don't), and the BBQ and fried chicken are also well-touted. One of these days I'll make it there, for sure.

              I'm so glad that your experience at Grange met with your approval...and a half! I'm jealous, as Grange is one of those "One of these days, I'll get there..." places for me, and I just don't get over to A-Squared very often at all. I'm *going* to get there eventually, and when I do, it sure will have some big expectations to meet. Sounds like they're really into food there, which makes the experience that much better.

              Sounds like a fun eating weekend for you!

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              Zingerman's Roadhouse
              2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

              1. re: boagman

                We went to the Roadhouse yesterday for breakfast. While I'm not one to order corned beef hash, the description was intriguing enough that I had to order. Oh my, I'm in love! It was not at all what I expected and it was almost creamy vs. dry, which I did expect, with two poached eggs on top. At $11.75 it was pricey for breakfast but it's not like I'm going there frequently...twice in the last two years. My daughter got the chizorio scrambled eggs and they were quite good, too. Some heat from the sausage but not too much. I also don't drink a lot of coffee and decided to order a decafe. I'm not sure whose brand they use, but it was the best cup of coffee I've had in years, so smooth.

                I realize this place gets a lot of reviews that it's overpriced, etc., however other than a really long wait for the food I felt that it tickled my taste buds enough that I would return again, at least for breakfast.

                Today I signed up for their pastry "bake-cation" that I've been thinking about for months, so for the next four days I'll be baking with them for eight hours per day. My idea of summer camp! By the end, I'm sure I will have had my fill of Zingerman's baked goods. Oh yeah, they provide breakfast and lunch every day.

              2. re: abbyhintz

                Glad you liked Grange - as I said, the food is hit or miss and I am so glad you got a hit!